Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rally a success, now to lobby MPs to vote against Najib, says Bersih


Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah (centre, sitting) with other committee members. She hopes that when Parliament convenes in October, MPs will be able to pass a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, August 31, 2015.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah (centre, sitting) with other committee members. She hopes that when Parliament convenes in October, MPs will be able to pass a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, August 31, 2015. 

Half a million people attended the overnight Bersih 4 street rally in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend, the event organiser said, adding that their next target is to push for the general election to be held within the next 12 to 18 months.
Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said when Parliament convenes in October, the hope is that there would be enough MPs to pass a vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
"So, we have to work hard to lobby MPs to do that.”
Maria also said that she does not fear being arrested by police, adding that she was “waiting for them”.
"When we organised this rally, we were prepared for anything, but have not heard from them (police).
"And we have our team of lawyers ready," she told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
Maria also said that donations to Bersih 4 had hit RM2.45 million.
"We have repeatedly asked the people during the peaceful assembly to speak directly with their MPs to move a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister, and this must go on. That’s a promise from Bersih 2," Maria said.
She added that in the event Najib resigns, the electoral watchdog proposed that a transitional government be set up to bring about core institutional reforms, such as clean up the electoral roll, look into the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and to call for fresh elections within 12 to 18 months.
"This is so that we will be able to fix the system and not just fix the prime minister because fixing the prime minister alone does not bring the change that we want."
When asked about Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's presence at Bersih 4, Maria said she hoped that he had “learnt his lesson” given that the former prime minister had been vehemently against street protests in the past.
"It's positive, I know he does not support our demands all the way.
"But people power has always been with us, it was not coined by Tun Mahathir nor (Tun Dr) Siti Hasmah (Mohd Ali).”
She also thanked the churches, temples and imams who led the daily prayers among the rally goers.
Maria also thanked the police for doing their “minimum”, adding that they could have done more by managing traffic and crowd control.
She said, however, their own security team managed to handle these matters to ensure a peaceful rally.
"Our heartiest thanks to city dwellers, traders, restaurants and shops who gave free food, water and use of their restrooms and generously donated for the cause."
Maria said 4,000 participated in the rally in Sabah while 5,000 turned up in Sarawak. – August 31, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/rally-a-success-now-to-lobby-mps-to-vote-against-najib-says-bersih#sthash.dbxN4k3C.dpuf

The irony of Najib’s ‘1Malaysia’

Mariam Mokhtar        

Sweet irony. In the end it was Najib Abdul Razak’s ‘1Malaysia’ which united Malaysians from all over the globe to stand in solidarity with fellow Malaysians back home, and demand his resignation.
From the most unlikely places like Guernsey, to South America, a diver sporting a Bersih poster whilst scuba diving in Indonesia, a skydiver with his yellow paraphernalia and small towns which are traditional strongholds of Umno Baru, like Kuala Lipis.
The Malaysians, young and old, rich and poor, answered the appeal made by Maria Chin Abdullah of Bersih 2.0, to show their support for their demand for good governance and clean elections.
The worldwide movement of dissenting Malaysians proved four things:-
First. Malaysians are united, despite 45 years of racial and religious indoctrination, that sought to use race and religion to divide them.
Second. Malaysians will rally to the call for help from fellow Malaysians, thus dispelling the myth that Malaysians are selfish and self-serving.
Third. Malaysians have crossed their threshold of fear, and are willing to stand up for themselves.
Fourth. The Malaysian government has finally realised the new phenomenon known as people power.
Back in London, widely touted as the activist capital of the world, 2,000 Malaysians who answered the Bersih 4 call, streamed in two hours before the official start time. A queue built-up to buy Bersih 4 T-shirts. The queue stretched the length of Belgrave Square, on which stands the Malaysian High Commission. The T-shirts, which had been specially commissioned for the march, sold out very quickly.
Malaysians came from as far north as Carlisle, from Wales and Bristol, Cornwall and Exeter, in the west, from Worthing and Bournemouth in the south. A few crossed the channel. A number of Malaysians, from Germany and some on holiday in France, flew in to be part of this historic event in London.
The stormy weather, which had drenched London throughout the week, cleared on Saturday. Although light drizzle was forecast for later, it could not dampen the spirits of the Bersih 4 Malaysians.
Two men who had recently hurt their backs, came to the rally. Another with a broken arm did not want to miss this chance to tell Najib what he thought of his lack of leadership.
They brought their children and there was a carnival-like atmosphere. Toddlers walked with their parents. Pet dogs had yellow balloons tied to their collars. Grandfathers pushed their young ones in strollers. A pregnant lady was seen with her young children, in the crowd.
Many in their sixties and seventies also joined the rally. English, Scottish and Irish, all with strong connections to Malaysia joined Malays, Chinese, Indians and Eurasians in the march. A few Indonesians joined the rally to lend their support.
Coming to fulfil their duty
When asked, Malaysians volunteered that they had come to fulfil their duty, and respond to Maria’s urging to show Najib that ‘Enough is enough’. The home-made banners and posters expressed their disgust for the happenings back home.
Clare Rewcastle-Brown spoke at the rally, as did Marina Mahathir. Both thanked the crowd for joining the rally. The BBC, Sky News and Channel News Asia, covered the event.
On the upper floors of the High Commission, a window was open. A marcher said that he spotted someone, deep in the shadows, with a camera. On the lower floors a curtain fluttered, briefly, but it was enough to show the assembled crowd that they were being watched. Did they care? Not in the least.
One person said, “I don’t care if they want to take my photo. What can they do to me? I have not broken any laws. I am here to express my anger at Najib. Is that a crime? Najib is the criminal, not me.”
An enterprising group of Malaysians from Hereford, wrote an open letter to the high commissioner imploring him, to walk with them. The letter was dropped into the letterbox, as no High Commission staff answered the door. It was Saturday, and the High Commission was shut.
There was a police presence at specific moments during the rally, but it was merely to see that we were all right and adhered to health and safety rules like not blocking the pavement or spilling onto the road, and obstructing traffic.
As the yellow crowd snaked its way towards Buckingham Palace, en route to 10 Downing Street, the anti-Najib sentiments did not let up. In Front of Buckingham Palace, tourists were surprised at the ‘yellow crocodile’ and trained their cameras on the Malaysians. A group played bangra music with chants like “Turun Najib”, as they walked along St James Park. Motorists tooted their horns to show support.
At 10 Downing Street, more speeches were made, and we competed for space with another smaller demonstration. It started to drizzle but no one moaned. Out came the yellow brollies and placards doubled up as barriers to keep the protestors dry. The chants did not abate, but grew stronger as we approached Trafalgar Square, and the end of the rally.
At Trafalgar Square, a flag-bearer waved his flag with much zeal in front of the Malaysian Tourism Office. More speeches and photographs followed. Throughout the afternoon, Charles Pond, from Monsoons, had carried his sound system on his bicycle. He had provided music for the marchers and microphones for the speeches. After four hours, his batteries were exhausted. It was time to go home.
The rally had been a success, despite Najib’s comments about Bersih.
When a rally-goer was asked if she was worried that her photograph may have been taken, she said, “Who cares? A government which thinks that it can lock up everyone who dares to criticise it is not a caring government. That is a dictatorship.”

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/310533#ixzz3kRQohv85

Bersih 4 was not a feel-good picnic

 Kee Thuan Chye

COMMENT When Bersih 4 ended at the midnight of Aug 30, it ended on a high note. The rally defied expectations. Those who had thought it would not be able to sustain 34 hours of street protest without experiencing police harassment and violence sparked by agitators were proven wrong.
An incredibly huge crowd celebrated Bersih 4’s success at the grand finale with an impassioned rendering of the national anthem when the clock struck 12.
Mingguan Malaysia accused the rally of having been controlled and dominated by the DAP. That’s utter bullshit. The DAP could not possibly command this kind of turnout on any given day.
In saying so, the pro-Umno newspaper also insulted the rally’s organisers, Bersih 2.0. It denied them the credit of having done a marvellous and exceptional job of putting together the event and making sure it remained peaceful.
Indeed, if credit is to be given to anyone for having drawn the rally participants to Dataran Merdeka in hordes, it must go to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. The alleged corruption inherent in his receipt of RM2.6 billion from an Arab donor (or so his Umno lackeys say) roused Malaysians to stand up as one against him.
Even people who would otherwise not take part in such demonstrations came. They were joined by many others who were getting involved in a Bersih rally for the first time. Many of them were young people. They felt they had to come. Why? Because of Najib.
They couldn’t tolerate him and his alleged wrongdoings any more. And for that, they were willing to risk being tear-gassed and even being arrested by coming out.
They even defied the government’s last-minute ban against the wearing of yellow T-shirts with ‘Bersih 4’ printed on them. Many came openly and unfearingly wearing the T-shirts. And with pride.
On the first day, there were at least 100,000 on the streets adjacent to Dataran Merdeka in the day. At night, there were still 20,000 left. Of these, 5,000 remained to spend the night sleeping on pavements and streets.
At the very least, those who stayed overnight have to be commended for their commitment.
The next day, many came back to continue the rally. They were joined by those who couldn’t attend the first day.
Numbers grew to at least 200,000
When night came, the numbers grew and grew to at least an awesome 200,000. And most remained till midnight to mark the end of the rally with the singing of ‘Negaraku’ and the ushering in of Merdeka Day. That made for a poignant closing.
Add the 200,000 present at the end to the countless others who had come the first day but did not return for the second and the total number of rally participants would surely total more than 200,000, perhaps amount to even 300,000.
Bersih 4’s organisers put the overall turnout at 500,000, but I think that’s probably an overestimation. Nonetheless, the message is clear. A lot of Malaysians showed up at the rally, and they spoke volumes with their massive presence.
It is true that an overwhelming proportion of the participants consisted of Chinese Malaysians, and that the rally would have been all the more meaningful and effective if more Malays had taken part, but as political scientist and Bersih 2.0 committee member Wong Chin Huat points out, “the Bersih 4 rally is dominated, not by ethnic Chinese, but by patriotic Malaysians”.
And even if critics are quick to spin that it is mainly the Chinese who are disgruntled with Najib, even if pro-Najib supporters are trying to denounce them as being troublemakers who are unpatriotic for being part of an illegal rally, it is worthwhile to note what socio-political observer Denison Jayasooria has to say about that:
“It is a patriotic call from the Chinese. They are not saying they are packing up their bags and leaving the country. They are doing this because they are concerned with the way the country is being run.”
I say that everyone who joined the Bersih 4 rally because they believed in its cause was, regardless of their race, a patriot.
Irresponsible elements will continue their spin
To be sure, Bersih 4 will not have any immediate effect. It will not cause Najib to be unseated as prime minister. The next phase now kicks off with the hard work of Bersih 2.0 trying to convince parliamentians to take a no-confidence vote against Najib and to push for a general election sooner than scheduled.
Meanwhile, irresponsible elements will spin that the rally and its apparent domination by the Chinese can pose a political threat to the Malays (albeit such a spin holds no water and should therefore be more correctly categorised as a lie).
And cynics will say that most of those who went to the rally got little out of it except to stand and look at other rallygoers because the numbers were so big that movement was impeded, so that it was almost impossible to get to the main stage and listen to the speakers or to even do anything much except periodically yell when prompted, “Hidup, hidup! Hidup Bersih!”. So, what was the point of it all?
And while these cynics will even say that the whole affair was just a feel-good carnival or, worse, a picnic for urban, middle-class Malaysians to converge at and feel proud of themselves for having done something for the country and the future generations but not realising that they achieved nothing, I think the cynics would be off the mark.
All these things didn’t matter. What mattered was being there and standing up to be counted.
After all, citizens have no other recourse to collectively express their feelings. All the frustrations they feel about what is happening to the country because of the machinations of one man cannot be channelled as effectively as in a street demonstration.
Bersih 4 was all they had to speak up as one.
No one can take that away from them.
And for them, just being there, to be with a massive crowd of others who shared the same cause, to directly feel that they were not alone in feeling frustrated about corruption and other ills and wanting these ills to be dealt with, that was enough.
Many came away from Bersih 4 with an unforgettable experience, a feeling of solidarity and sharing, a feeling of affection for fellow Malaysians. Many were moved to tears, many found joy, many more felt what it really meant to be Malaysian.
It was therapeutic, it was exhilarating, it was cathartic, it was unifying. If doomsayers want to take anything away from the rallygoers, or toll the death-knell of Bersih as a people’s movement, they themselves can go to blazes.
How can you spoil a party that means so much to its participants? How can you spoil a party that brings people together for a common good? And how can Bersih not live on when it is and will remain the people’s only platform for speaking up and showing how much they feel for their country?
I cannot say this often enough. Everyone who joined the Bersih 4 rally is a patriot. When they sang ‘Negaraku’ at the closing, they sang it with pride and gusto. What more could the country want from such citizens?

KEE THUAN CHYE is the author of two soon-to-be-released books, Unbelievably Stupid! and Unbelievably Stupid Too!
Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/310598#ixzz3kROFPeou

Friday, August 28, 2015

Adenan sets S'wak election date but coy about it

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem announced today that he has fixed the date for the 11th Sarawak state election which must be held before July next year.
However, he remained tight-lipped about revealing the date to the public as yet.
"I have chosen and decided on the date for the 11th Sarawak state election but it is not yet the right time for me to announce it to you," he was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.
Furthermore, Adenan said the selection of almost all BN candidates has already been finalised.
He added that Sarawak BN was ready for an early state election.
Adenan's announcement came after the Court of Appeal ruled in the Election Commission's (EC) favour to go ahead with its re-delineation exercise.
The re-delineation exercise will create 11 new seats, most of which the opposition said will favour the ruling coalition.
the Kuching High Court had initially ordered the EC's re-delineation exercise to be redone for not complying with the constitutional requirements but this was later overturned by the appellate court.
The opposition which took the case to court, is expected to challenge the matter at the Federal Court.

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/310240#ixzz3k5D5Dx00

‘Umno’ sues Najib to retrieve chunk of RM2.6b

 Hafiz Yatim

EXCLUSIVE Things are heating up in Umno, as a member who claims to represent the party files a suit against its president Najib Abdul Razak to reclaim a portion of the RM2.6 billion alleged party donations said to have left the country.
A large portion of the funds, which The Wall Street Journal had exposed was deposited into Najib’s personal accounts, were allegedly transferred to Singapore two years ago.
Umno, through one of its grassroots leaders, named Najib and Umno executive secretary Abdul Rauf Yusof as defendants in the suit filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry this morning.
The vocal member claimed that the legal action is for the benefit of and on behalf of the party and its members.
The US$650 million is said to be the balance from the original US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) the prime minister had received in his personal accounts.
The transfer happened sometime on Aug 30, 2013, the same day Najib closed the account, as alleged by whistleblower website Sarawak Report.
It is understood that the suit was filed today after no action had allegedly been taken on complaints made against Najib to the party’s disciplinary board.
The Umno member is seeking an injunction against Najib and Abdul Rauf or their agents in the disciplinary board, state liaison body, divisions, and branches to be restrained from removing, suspending, and taking disciplinary action on her, pending the disposal of this action.
The complainant is also seeking a repayment amounting to US$650 million - the amount reportedly deposited by Najib to a Singapore bank - and an account of all monies that he had received in the form of donations.
Also sought are details of all monies in the AmPrivate Banking Account No 2112022009694 allegedly belonging to Najib, along with damages, costs, and other reliefs.
Unaccounted for in Umno's books
The complainant further argued in the claim that the monies said to have been donations from wealthy Arabs for the party’s benefit allegedly did not appear in the party’s audited accounts.
The sum of RM2.6 billion allegedly did not appear in Umno's audited accounts for the financial years 2013 and 2014, according to the statement of claim sighted by Malaysiakini.
The document said that between Mar 21 and Mar 25, 2013, US$680,999,976.00 (RM2.6 billion) made its way into Najib's two private accounts in AmBank, through Falcon Private Bank in Singapore.
The claim argued that since Najib has admitted receiving the amount, which he said he was not the personal beneficiary to the funds but Umno, he is only acting as a trustee of the funds.
It was reminded that Umno, and hence Najib, is governed by the Societies Act 1966 and party constitution over matters related to financial matters and accounting.
Under Section 14(d) of the Act, Umno is required to provide the audited accounts every financial year to the Registrar of Societies.
Umno's financial year is from Jan 1 to Dec 31 every year, and monies belonging to Umno are to be deposited in a commercial or savings bank.
The complaint stated Najib as a trustee has breached the Umno constitution, the provisions of the Societies Act, and common law as a trustee of the donations.
Singapore account not Umno’s
It further claimed that Najib allegedly did not inform or declare the sum of RM2.6 billion to Umno.
The Singapore account to which the portion of the RM2.6 billion was transferred on Aug 30, 2013 also allegedly did not belong to Umno.
The statement of claim said Najib had paid or removed from the party an original sum amounting to US$650 million, and this is in direct violation of the Umno constitution.
It further alleged that the Umno president had utilised or retained part of the monies for his own benefit and without regard for Umno.
For these reasons, the complainant argued Najib had acted in breach of trust and confidence reposed in him as an Umno trustee.
For this, the complainant said the Umno president and the supreme council had acted ultra vires (beyond its power) of the party constitution and had committed fraud.
The complainant further states that because Najib is the alleged wrongdoer in control of the party, the party is in no position to make a claim for its own benefit against Najib.
Supreme council unwilling to act
It also said the supreme council is unable or unwilling to act against the Umno president following his power and influence over the party.
Najib was also accused of abusing his power as prime minister in removing Muhyiddin Yassin, who remains as party deputy president.
The complainant claimed Umno and its organs have been co-opted by Najib, resulting in the party being unable or unwilling to bring action against him for the party's benefit.
As a result of Najib's position of power, as well as the manner in which Umno is governed by the supreme council, state liaison committees, divisions and branches would not sue or seek an account of the RM2.6 billion, the claim said.
This legal action is the second faced by Najib in his personal capacity.
PKR and several opposition members have also filed a suit against Najib, BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, 1MDB, and the Election Commission, linked to the RM2.6 billion allegation.
Najib had claimed that the money was a political donation.

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/310213#ixzz3k53BLZ9Z

Speaking in London, Ambiga shatters four Bersih myths

28 Aug 2015 10:00 AM

 by Mariam Mokhtar
OUTSPOKENThe people who criticised Bersih failed to realise that, despite being unable to push through all of the electoral reforms it demanded, Bersih created a high level of awareness, among the public; about our democracy, our electoral process, the power and greed of Umno Baru politicians, and their desperation to cling to power.
As Bersih 4 nears, the Umno Baru supporters and politicians and the Muslim extremist groups are feeling the pressure. The depth of anger, among the Malaysian rakyat, is unprecedented. The rakyat demands that its parliamentarians restore democracy in the nation, uphold the rule of law, and reinstate the independence of its institutions.
Four common myths were shattered by Ambiga Sreenevasan, when she delivered a morale boosting pre-Bersih 4 talk, called "Why Bersih 4?", in London on Aug 23.
Reclaiming democracy
On Aug 21, Ambiga Sreenevasan, wrote an article in The New York Times (NYT) about the necessity for Malaysians to take to the streets, in Bersih 4, to reclaim their democracy, lest they be "cheated" in GE14.
She criticised the prime minister for his mishandling of the economy, for allowing a state of lawlessness, and condoning an Election Commission (EC) which kept the ruling party in power, with its redelineation exercises.
Her article infuriated the Cheras Umno Baru Division chief, Syed Ali Alhabshee, who accused her of spreading "malicious lies" and "stirring-up emotions".
He said that "holding the Bersih rally, during the Merdeka celebrations", showed "no respect for the fathers of independence". He alleged that the "real intention was to topple a democratically elected government".
The irony is that Syed Ali's remarks, betrayed him as a man who is scared of the impact of Bersih 4.
Ambiga's response was that he should ask the NYT for the right to reply, on an international platform, and list the malicious lies, that he alleges were uttered.
Ambiga quoted figures, from an independent study conducted by the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE) at the University of Oxford, which detailed the gerrymandering of the EC.
The report said, "If Barisan had drawn the borders themselves, they could not have made a better job of redelineation of the boundaries, than the EC."
Soliciting the Agong's help
NGOs, like Bersih, have tried all avenues to demand a clean government, but without success. Malaysians know that they live in a repressive regime, where there is no equality, and people are denied their constitutional rights. One cynic said, "To be truthful, most Malaysians do not know their constitutional rights."
Some Malaysians want Bersih to appeal to the Agong, to help the rakyat and save the nation.
Ambiga said that there was good interaction with the King, in Bersih 2, and he issued a "titah" (royal command) for the Bersih rally to take place in the stadium.
She added, "We have to be fair to the king and sultans. Their position is tough. They are constitutional monarchs and if they were to interfere in politics, it would be unprecedented and would not accord with their constitutional roles.
"To be fair, I don't think it would be right to put the king in a position were we to ask him to interfere in the political process. This is a political issue. The politicians have to work it out at this point."
The fear factor
The importance of student voices is without parallel. They are the leaders of tomorrow.
Overseas students have access to a variety of lectures, which could help stimulate discussion and open their minds, so that they can challenge and be challenged by different ideas; however, many are afraid to attend these thought-provoking lectures, especially if they are not organised by Umno Baru or their cronies, for fear that their scholarships will be revoked.
Ambiga's advice to the students was simple, "We must all work together, to dismantle this process of intimidation. The government had been mean to some students who took part in Bersih rallies, in various countries.
"If the students come out in sufficient numbers, it will be difficult for the government to target them. How many scholarships can they revoke? How many students can they punish?
"Students must be made to know that they will not be alone."
Ambiga was clear that students could mount a legal challenge, if the government were to target them. She said that students must stand up and speak with one voice.
She said, "If any action is taken against them, they must assert their legal rights. They must seek assistance and Bersih will provide that assistance, or put them in touch with people who can help them.
"We have made representations on their behalf, to have their scholarship reinstated. It is not an easy process. It is a nuisance, but it is important to make a legal stand."
The police and Bersih
Various sources claim that the police force is divided, about Bersih 4, and Ambiga had a special message for the policemen.
She said, "This Bersih is one of the most important rallies, in the country. Our systems are broken. Our institutions, like the MACC, the AG's office and possibly Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) are under attack.
"Bersih 4 is fighting, for the police, and the rights of their children, too.
"When we are at the Bersih rally, and you are watching us, please do your job. Please allow us to have the rally. Do apprehend the troublemakers, but please remember that we are the rakyat and we are not the enemy.
"We join Bersih because we love the country."
Mariam Mokhtar is “a Malaysian who dares to speak the truth”.
- See more at: http://www.theantdaily.com/Main/Speaking-in-London-Ambiga-shatters-four-Bersih-myths#sthash.XvU5Vjks.dpuf

Thursday, August 27, 2015



Press Statement

27 August 2015

Malaysia is in deep trouble after years of mismanagement and corruption under BN rule. All Malaysians should go out to support Bersih 4 this weekend, whether in KL, Kuching or KK, or indeed in any other city around the world to register our dissatisfaction over the way our country is being run. The demands of Bersih 4 for clean and fair elections, good governance, saving the country's economy and freedom of expression, are consistent with PKR's struggles. These demands should resonate with all right thinking Malaysians here and abroad.

It is our duty as loyal and patriotic citizens to speak up against lawlessness and corruption, and we must not be misled by those who say otherwise. Loyalty to the country requires us to stand up against a government that has lost its moral compass and that is led by politicians mired in corruption scandals which have earned our country worldwide notoriety.

The antics of the anti-Bersih red shirts outside Sogo 2 days ago amount to intimidation and these thugs must be condemned by the PM and the police. However, being led by an UMNO leader, I will not be surprised if these agent provocateurs are allowed to create trouble at the rallies over the weekend. 

I urge the Police to be fair and even-handed in carrying out their duty to ensure the safety of all Malaysians this weekend. After all, we will be standing up for their rights and the rights of their children as well.

Now is the time to act if we care about the future of our children, if we want a say in how our country is being run, if we are to have any hope for a change.

ADUN N70 Ba' Kelalan

Ambiga: Leaders dish out garbage, Bersih gives hope

 RK Anand

Electoral watchdog Bersih is no stranger to holding rallies, with tens of thousands of Malaysians having heeded its clarion call and taken to the streets in the past.
But the movement is not without sceptics and critics, the latter being ruling politicians and those aligned to them, who never fail to recycle the same script of Bersih wanting to topple the government through undemocratic means and that it is a marionette of the opposition.
The critics, on the other hand, remain pessimistic as to what the rallies can achieve and therefore refrain from participating, claiming that since no significant change would come about in the aftermath, there is no need to risk arrest or be subject to tear gas and chemical-laced water that potentially wait Bersih participants.
However, Bersih's former co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan disagrees with both, arguing that since its inception, the movement has been instrumental in shaping the mindset of Malaysians.
"Bersih has lifted the awareness of Malaysians to what our democracy ought to be. And what it is not.
"It has done advocacy and training so that people can play their part as voters whether on election day or when the redelineation process is on," she told Malaysiakini.
Contrary to what sceptics may believe, Ambiga is of the opinion that Bersih has already stamped its mark.
"Bersih has already achieved much by giving people who are frustrated with the leadership a chance to speak loudly with one voice.
"A voice loud enough that it cannot be ignored. If ignored, the price to pay will be heavy," she cautioned.
Leaders dishing garbage
Ambiga said since the leaders appear incapable of listening to reason and instead "dish out utter garbage to us", it is time for them to hear the rakyat express their dissatisfaction collectively.
"There is a renewed sense of purpose for the people after Bersih 4 was announced. In short, Bersih gives hope.
"And look at all those who were against it before who now support it. That is change happening right before us," she pointed out.
Come this weekend, Kuala Lumpur will once again be the epicentre for another Bersih rally, which among others, calls for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The authorities have declared the rally illegal, but similar proclamations in the past had failed to prevent a sea of yellow flooding the major arteries of the capital.
Ambiga’s successor Maria Chin Abdullah last week challenged Najib to allow the rally to proceed without hindrance to gauge if the public still supported him or otherwise.
In other words, the Bersih 4 rally could be interpreted as a fresh mandate for the embattled prime minister to continue at the helm or a vote of no confidence against him.

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/310065#ixzz3jyhpX5dw

This weekend, stand up for our country

 Kee Thuan Chye

COMMENT The stage is set for Bersih 4.
Many Malaysians have been waiting for this, and now it is coming at a poignant moment in our nation's history - our confrontation with a corrupt system concretised vividly in the form of a man who has received an astronomical amount of money that he shouldn't have but is abusing the nation's institutions and bending the nation's laws to exonerate himself and persecute people who are investigating his alleged transgression, a man who is using his supreme power to save his own skin and deceive the public.
This is a moment we have never experienced before. At no time in our history has a single person in the highest office of the land drawn so many Malaysians together to go against him.
We must capture this moment, exercise our power as citizens of a democracy, as stakeholders of this land, to show this man that our power is greater than his, and try as he may to outfox us and suppress our voices with the forces he has co-opted to his side, he must not escape justice.
More than this, as we march as one on Aug 29 and 30, we must insist that we no longer want to put up with a system that is corrupt, a system that gives so much power to one man to do what he pleases while those who would expose him suffer the consequences of his counteroffensives.
If anything is to come out of our street rally to call for his removal from office by legal means, an endeavour that could subject us to harsh reprisals by the forces of the dark side, cause us to suffer bodily harm or arrest or eventual incarceration, it has to be a commitment from our public officials, including our elected representatives in the state and federal legislatures, that they will revamp the system with a commitment to bringing positive reform, so that we can thenceforth move forward towards a better Malaysia.
We want a clean government, a fair government, a government that sees to the needs of every citizen under the Malaysian sun, a government that unites, not divides, that ceases to capitalise on race and religion for its own ends, that restores our battered institutions to their pride of place, a government that will fight for us and with us, not against us.
We want to secure this not just for the present but also because we want a brighter future for our children and their children.
That, as I understand it, is what Bersih 4 is about. And that is what must propel Malaysians who care for their country to go for it - despite the natterings of the nay-sayers, the threats of the police to take severe action, the hinting of dark forces to create violence at the event.
Remember - always - that calling for the prime minister to be removed by constitutional means or to resign of his own volition is well within our rights. Don't let the inspector-general of police and his officers tell you otherwise.
Important distinction
Of late, they have been quick to throw Section 124B of the Penal Code - the government's new lethal weapon - at dissenting Malaysians, accusing them of carrying out activities "detrimental to parliamentary democracy".
These very Malaysians who are being so wrongly and unjustly persecuted are, ironically, fighting to preserve parliamentary democracy. It is those who attempt to stop them who should be arrested and charged under Section 124B, for they are the ones who are subverting parliamentary democracy. I don't need to mention who these people are; you already know most of them.
Above all, be aware of the important distinction between government and country. Our government sucks, but not our country. As patriots, it is our duty to save our country from a government that is corrupt, self-serving and incompetent - in short, a government that sucks.
I would like to reproduce here what I wrote in an article published by Malaysiakini on Dec 8, 2010:
"The country and the government are separate entities. Governments come and go, the country is eternal (unless it is destroyed or fragmented). We owe our allegiance to the country, not to the government. Therefore, saying bad things about a bad government is not being anti-national.
"Most important of all, voting against a bad government is not being anti-national. A bad government does not deserve loyalty. Disloyalty to the government is not disloyalty to the country; in fact, voting out a bad government is being loyal to the country."
This weekend, those of us who will gather around Dataran Merdeka need not fear. We will be walking on the side of right. That will be our strength and our protection.
Some of our young people have shown no fear, and for that 17 of them were arrested a few days ago for camping outside Parliament House. They are now being investigated under Section 124B. Despite the arrests, other students have not been cowed. They have vowed to continue camping at the same venue until the prime minister steps down.
The young have shown us the way. Now we must follow after them. We must turn up in numbers never seen before in a street demonstration in Kuala Lumpur - and walk for them, for the future generations, and even for ourselves.
So that in years to come, we may hopefully look back and be proud that we did our bit for the sake of our people. And for our country.

KEE THUAN CHYE is the author of two soon-to-be-released books, ‘Unbelievably Stupid!’ and ‘Unbelievably Stupid Too!’

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/310066#ixzz3jygWTQus